a peek inside the fishbowl

27 Oct, 2010

My 12 commandments

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and The Happiness Project. One of the things she did during her year of searching for happiness is to develop 12 personal commandments to help guide her daily interactions. She wrote about it here.

I love this idea so much. It makes sense, but the trick is to really dig deep and think about your 12, and then jot them down somewhere you’ll see them often so they’re top-of-mind.

I’m still working on mine, but I’m thinking:

  1. Be Andrea
  2. Take action
  3. Take the high road
  4. Remember joy
  5. Love
  6. Create
  7. Let go of fear
  8. Take care of myself
  9. Pursue my passions
  10. Live mindfully
  11. ?

What would you include in your own personal commandments? What do you need to remember as you move through your days?

13 Responses to "My 12 commandments"

1 | karen at virtually there

October 27th, 2010 at 10:42 am


I feel like I’ve come a long way on this one in the past year but I still remind myself constantly: Be patient.

It is imperative for good relationships… especially with kids.

2 | Robyn

October 27th, 2010 at 1:06 pm


Mine is to be forgiving — of myself and others.

3 | Pam

October 27th, 2010 at 2:12 pm


Love the list! I’d have to give it some thought. It may include Move Forward as I end up getting stuck on things and spinning my wheels.

4 | Pam

October 27th, 2010 at 2:14 pm


PS – Loved reading your Sugar Fast column in the Citizen. Well done and inspiring. :-)

5 | Betsy Mae

October 27th, 2010 at 4:45 pm


wow, this is great. i need to think about this.

6 | bushidoka

October 27th, 2010 at 6:00 pm


Treat others the way you’d like to be treated

Do not stand idly by while someone else is doing something you know is wrong and may end up hurting someone else (sort of an extension of the first one)

Forget everything I think I know

Be humble

There is no number 5

7 | Jen_nifer

October 27th, 2010 at 8:06 pm


I’m stumbling over the “Be Jennifer” part. I enjoyed how Gretchen decided not to pursue, or think about pursuing things she wouldn’t actually like, but just wants to like… but I’m having problems distinguishing the two for myself. How about you?

8 | Rae

October 28th, 2010 at 8:01 am


Breathe. It’s Ok.

9 | Binki

October 28th, 2010 at 1:16 pm


If you feel like being creative, don’t hold back
Go for walks with your kids
Keep learning
Be nice but not too nice.
More real, less digital
Have fun
Get dirty
Be aware
Break a sweat
Dive in
Tell people what you like (not just what you dislike)
Smile at both friends and strangers

10 | Binki

October 28th, 2010 at 2:18 pm


“Tell people what you like (not just what you dislike)”

I like quietfish.com

11 | Kaitlin

October 28th, 2010 at 3:33 pm


This is such a good idea. I feel like “don’t be afraid to be (a little) sassy” would be one, but I honestly haven’t thought much about it.

I will let you know when I figure it out.

12 | Natalie

October 29th, 2010 at 10:10 am


Andrea I liked this so much I blogged about it. Thanks for sharing!

13 | bushidoka

November 3rd, 2010 at 10:39 am


I was just reminded of one of mine : “just because you can, does not mean you should”

I like some of the ones above too like “get dirty” (mind out of the gutter!), and “tell people what you like, not just what you dislike”. “Keep learning” is the same as the one I worded differently above about forgetting everything I’ve ever learned (because something you think you know may prevent you from learning something else)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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